I finally got to meet Christina when she came down to do the Boston marathon. The first time I heard her voice was when she called me on Friday morning whilst still in Arizona. Her soft lilting voice made me wonder if she was originally from Scotland or Ireland. We arranged to meet at 9am at the expo. Indeed, our first meeting was just as she describes on her blog!
When you have been in contact with someone for a while, you have a sense of how the person is. The reality though, can be a harsh and very different thing. Meeting Christina in real life was meeting exactly the person I had gotten to know through blogland - sparkly, effervescent and very cool. She is petite and very pretty. We connected immediately, and it was like meeting a good friend whom I had not seen in a while - it was like we were picking up where we had left off!
Christina picked up her race packet in a trice, then we went off to pick up mine for the 5K. Of course I had no idea where the postcard with my race number on it was. The BAA had sent it weeks ago, and I eventually found it under a pile of magazines when I was tidying up the other day. Still, those BAA people are terribly organized, and I had my race packet and t-shirt with no problem at all. The expo was very good, and I loved going around it, chatting with Christina. All too soon it was time to part ways, and Christina told me she would come to the race the next day.
Never did I dream she would actually get there for the start! It was an 8am start (which is considered very early here in MA), and since it was also quite chilly and rainy, I mucked around at home, thinking to get there in time and just start. When Christina rang to say she was looking for me, I felt terrible at not being there. This is the first time every that someone has actually come to see me. Yes, Stuart has accompanied me to races, but only because I didn't want to drive there myself, not necessarily "to watch you run slowly", as he puts it! I did not manage to see her prior to the race, but as I filed out of the tent, bagel and medal in hand, there she was. Even though I was sweaty and stinky, I gave her a hug and was very happy to see her.
I told Christina that I would be at Cleveland Circle (mile 22) on Monday morning. Stuart and I were down there amidst throngs of people waiting. However, I have never seen so many people running so fast altogether. It was very hard to read numbers, look at faces and keep an eye out for Christina. Sadly, we did not see her so that was a bit disappointing. But thank you BAA for this lovely pic.
Our last meeting was on Wednesday evening, when we went out for dinner. The weather was chilly and rainy all week (except Marathon Monday), and Wednesday was no exception. I met John, Christina's significant other, and Christina met Stuart. After the hellos, we went off to the restaurant immediately. What a delightful, relaxing evening. It was like being with old friends. I know it sounds a bit odd, considering that we had all just met, but that was exactly how it was. All too soon it was time to part, but it was merely an au revoir as I know we shall see each other again quite soon. What a great couple of days, and the best part? Meeting Christina of course!